Yesterday I took Lifa back to his father’s house. The two homes, “Mama’s house” and “Baba’s house” are like two different worlds, like a twisted knot of culture and time travel, and as opposite as light and dark. But God says keep going back and forth. He says it’s worth it. So we keep going because it’s worth it.
During the transition part, I always ask Him again if it’s worth it. It’s hard on a little boy whose four years have been a broken record of abandonment, confusion and uprooting. And now his story is told in three languages from two different realities.
I wonder if I make it worse. And then I remember it’s not about me.
We were both emotional on that day I tried to spin positively- the “special day where you get to see Mama and Baba!” Lifa explained to me that he gets in trouble if he cries at his baba’s house, so I gave him permission through so many words and actions to be extra angry, extra sad and shed extra tears at mama’s house. I handed him pillows to throw and kick over and over and over again until his tears turned into giggles. And then we started all over again when the tears came back.
It’s like light and dark.
After we prayed together on the way to his father’s house, I explained to Lifa “the really cool surprise about Jesus.” With so many of his favorite words in one sentence and a bag of Doritos in-hand, he couldn’t resist listening, no matter how emotional he was…
The really cool surprise about Jesus is that whenever you feel sad, or lonely, or angry, or frustrated, or scared, or when you’re all by yourself, or when somebody hurts you, or when you’re around bad people, or when it gets too dark, is that all you have to do is say, “Help me Jesus” out loud with your mouth, and He will come make Light where it’s dark.
Lifa, can you believe that!?! All you have to do is say His Name. Say, “Help me, Jesus.”
Yeah, Mommy. And if I just ask Jesus to come and to help me then I won’t be feeling scared anymore p-p-p-p-p-cause He comes to make it Light.
But Lifa, what about when it’s REALLLLLY dark and you can’t see anyone or anything? And you’re too scared?
Mommy. It’s ok. I can say, “Help me Jesus” and it won’t be dark anymore.
But Lifa, what if nobody around you knows about Jesus? What if they can’t help you?
Mommy, Jesus will help me. He will come and make me not scared or not sad and make the Light come.
Such a really cool surprise.
A mama and a little boy’s countenance, confidence and faith was illuminated as something was sealed in that conversation. Not one single detail of the rest of the trip was easier. But my little boy knows that all he has to do is say the name of Jesus and the Light will come.
And Light and dark cannot exist together. Darkness flees. Light prevails. His little light is gonna shine. I’m clinging to that.
…”I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9